Urban Airship

Urban Airship push notifications allow developers to deliver relevant, personalized, in-the-moment messaging. It is a helpful tool for increasing user engagement.


  • Send to any URL to improve UX, increase conversions
  • It can be personalized for better results
  • Optimize for web notifications
  • Unlimited Push Notifications
  • Unlimited In-App Messaging
  • Allows Deep Linking
  • Real-Time Automation
  • Engagement Reports
  • Self-Help Knowledge Base, Forum Access

What are web push notifications?

Web push notifications are notifications that can be sent to a user via desktop web and mobile web. These are alert style messages that slide in at the top or bottom right hand corner of a desktop screen, depending on the operating system, or appear on a mobile device in a manner nearly identical to push notifications delivered from apps. Web push notifications are delivered on a user’s desktop or mobile screen anytime they have their browser open — regardless of whether or not the user is on the website.

The difference between web push notifications and app push notifications:

  • All that’s required to send web push notifications is a website that has web push code installed in it. This means that brands that don’t have apps can leverage many of the benefits of push notifications (real-time, personalized, in-the-moment communications) even if they don’t have an app.
  • App push notifications are sent via code installed in an app.

Web push notifications include the following elements:

Notification Title: Some brands simply use their name here.

Notification Content: The message sent. Character count varies between browsers. Shorter is better.

Notification URL: The domain sending the web notification.

Notification Icon: This can be a logo or any image.

Browser Icon: The logo of the browser sending the notification. This is included on notifications sent to Apple desktop or laptop computers. This can not be altered or removed.

The elements of a web push notification as it looks on an Apple desktop or laptop computer on a Chrome browser version 59 or newer. Web notifications vary in appearance by operating system and browser.

How web push notifications work?

Any company with a website can send web push notifications after installing code (a web-based SDK) from a web push service on their website to enable them. No app is required.

For users, clicking or tapping on a web push notification takes a visitor to whatever web page (URL) the brand has determined.

The web notification opt-in process

Web notifications are a permission-based marketing channel. Before receiving a web push, users have to opt in to receive them.

The opt-in prompt comes from the user’s web browser. This prompt is called a browser-level opt-in prompt, or browser-based prompt.

Brands can handle the opt-in process in different ways with both the opt-in process and the timing of the opt-in ask.

Using a “Soft Ask” Opt In:

Some display a “soft ask” — explaining the value of receiving web push notifications — first, before the browser prompt. The soft opt-in conveys why a user would want to opt in to receive web push notifications. If a visitor says yes to the soft ask, then they’ll display the opt-in prompt from the browser itself.

This can be more effective for securing an opt-in than just showing the browser prompt without any additional context.

For other brands, skipping the soft ask and just displaying the browser-based opt-in works as well or better. 

Choosing the Timing for Opt-In Prompts:

The timing of showing the opt-in varies by brand as well. Some choose to wait until a web visitor has visited a certain number of pages before offering the web push notification opt-in— whether they use a soft ask or the browser-based opt-in prompt. Others offer the opt-in upon arrival to the site.

With both the opt-in process and timing, it’s important for brands to experiment to see what approach and timing works best for getting the opt in.